I voted today via an oversized PDA with a large red button that read: CAST VOTE.
Gone are the salad days of punching through a stack of cards that were provided neatly tucked into ballot jacket.
Instead I waited for a man to punch my registration number into a machine that resembled something used by gas station attendants to monitor the flow of fuel. The Gas-O-Matic chirped and spit out a tiny receipt with a PIN number required to turn on the electronic voting device.
Even the voting booth has been changed, now looking like something designed by Rubermaid and REI. Tucked inside was a device about the size of a tablet PC with large buttons and a jog dial.
The display was similar looking to that of an ATM. So my first instinct was to enter the secret number by touching the screen but nothing happened. After a few more taps I discovered this modern device was not very modern at all — more like 1995’ish. Next and back buttons be damned.
Despite lacking any revolutionary voting features, I was able to cast by ballot without a hitch. Click the read button and bam — finished in record time.
Now if only something could be done about the rampant voter apathy in this country. Tonight the news is reporting that only 5% of registered voters in Orange County participated in today’s election.
We can make voting as ‘modern’ as it gets but it still won’t fix the biggest problem with elections in this country.